|Image from imdb.com|
I like Bryan Singer and Christopher McQuarrie, they’ve made some interesting films such as The Usual Suspects and Valkyrie so despite the massive negative response to Jack the Giant Slayer, I still hoped that it would be a good film.
From a “grown up” point of view Jack the Giant Slayer is pretty terrible. From the very beginning where we are given the back story of the giants through the telling of a bedtime story to young Jack, the acting feels so forced and wooden across the board that it’s hard to focus on much else.
This poor acting is consistent throughout with the lead Nicholas Hoult lacking all the charisma needed for a role like this. The only performance worth noting in the entire film is Ewan McGregor as Elmont, the smarmy “guardian” who is tasked with climbing the beanstalk to retrieve Princess Isabelle. His character is far more interesting than Jacks and his fight scene with Stanley Tucci is the best part of the film.
The main reason this didn’t work for me though is due to the poor script and characters who are dim to say the least. For example, despite the giant beanstalk going hand in hand with the legend of man eating giants intent on ruling the kingdom, when one appears out of nowhere what does the King do? Prepare for War? No, has a party. He doesn’t even seem that bothered when he finds out his daughter is in giant land, the acting is that bad.
The ending is awful too and whilst I can appreciate the idea, it just doesn’t work at all and I pray that if a sequel is made, they don’t go down the road set out in those final few shots.
As mentioned above, all this negativity comes from a “grown up” point of view and whereas there are a lot of films which can enthral me to the point where plot holes and the like can be overlooked, Jack the Giant Slayer fails on this level.
Children though will love this. Coming out of the cinema, you had boys of all ages who all clearly enjoyed it. One boy, no older than ten I’d say was boasting to his father that he didn’t look away when the scary Giants were on screen, he felt like the hero.
With this in mind, even though I hope I will never have to sit through Jack the Giant Slayer ever again I can’t help but recommend it to any parent, uncle or auntie who is thinking of taking a child to the cinema over Easter. Sure, you probably won’t enjoy it but they’ll leave thinking what they’ve just seen is epic.